A question about the Stanford Lectures on Fourier Transforms

In summary, Mordechai9 thinks that Fourier transforms are extremely important for physicists, mathematicians, and electrical engineers, but it depends on what else the person knows and what courses they have coming up. He recommends that people master the basics first before trying to learn Fourier transforms in more detail.
  • #1
WiFO215
420
1
I told one of my friends about the Stanford OCW and he found the "Lectures on Fourier Transforms for Electrical Engineers".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZNm7L96pfY&feature=PlayList&p=B24BC7956EE040CD&index=0

Since it is summer time, he said he might spend time looking through that stuff. The question is if it will be useful for him or not as he wants to be a physicist and is currently doing a BSc in Physics. So what do you think? Will learning about the Fourier Transform how Electrical Engineers learn it help somewhere along the line? Is it any different from how physicists would learn about it?
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Okay. Actually I might also be interested in viewing these. I haven't chosen a major yet but I am either going to pick mathematics or physics. I would be inclined towards watching these lectures if it would be help me in either of these fields in college.
 
  • #3
Fourier transforms are definitely extremely important for physicists, as well as engineers and mathematicians. The electrical engineers might teach it a little bit differently but basically it's going to be the same as you would see it in a math course or in a physics course.

Whether or not it is the MOST important thing to study over the summer, or the best way to spend your time, is a whole another ball game. It just depends on what else you know and what courses you have coming up. Fourier transforms and Fourier series are relatively advanced, so at the high school level, it probably makes more sense to focus on mastering some of the more basic subjects first (such as calculus). But it definitely wouldn't hurt to look at it.
 
  • #4
mordechai9 said:
Fourier transforms are definitely extremely important for physicists, as well as engineers and mathematicians. The electrical engineers might teach it a little bit differently but basically it's going to be the same as you would see it in a math course or in a physics course.

Whether or not it is the MOST important thing to study over the summer, or the best way to spend your time, is a whole another ball game. It just depends on what else you know and what courses you have coming up. Fourier transforms and Fourier series are relatively advanced, so at the high school level, it probably makes more sense to focus on mastering some of the more basic subjects first (such as calculus). But it definitely wouldn't hurt to look at it.

I agree with the sentiments here, and particularly ecco what mordechai9 has said in the second part of the post. Fourier transforms are massively important, but I'd only consider confronting it if you're already hugely comfortable with everything you've been introduced to in school thusfar. There's no point in pressing ahead to things that are 'important' if you haven't mastered the basics.

That said, when you do get introduced to Fourier transforms more formally in school, make sure you understand what's going on! I guess this can be said about anything that you're taught, but Fourier transform talk resonates with me in particular because I dealt with them in math for a while, and in various physics courses before I realized that I could use them and I got the 'idea + reasoning' but for whatever reason I just wasn't fully comfortable with it. As you progress through a physics degree, there will be certain things that just keep coming up all over the place, in courses of all different kinds - Fourier transforms is one of these things. Them and wave equations.. it's actually rather remarkable and is one of the reasons I love physics.
 
  • #5
Okay, thanks guys. I am already proficient with calculus to a certain level. I learned from a book called Tom M. Apostol [ Single Variable Calculus - Volume 1 ]. I also learned quite a bit of multivariable calculus and differential equations from MIT OCW 18.02 and 18.03 and Mary L. Boas [ Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences ]. I am currently learning Linear Algebra from a book called Kenneth Hoffman and Ray Kunze [ Linear Algebra - edition 2], a copy of which I got hold of. Learning Linear Algebra is my priority this summer. However, this looked interesting and I thought I'd look into it. I just wanted to know if anything was different in an engineer's perspective and if these lectures would be useful in that sense. Anyway, thank you again for your comments. Nonetheless, further information will be appreciated.
 

1. What are Fourier transforms and how are they used in science?

Fourier transforms are mathematical operations that decompose a function or signal into its constituent frequencies. They are widely used in scientific fields such as physics, engineering, and mathematics to analyze and understand complex systems and signals.

2. Who gives the Stanford Lectures on Fourier Transforms and what is their expertise in this subject?

The Stanford Lectures on Fourier Transforms are given by Professor Brad Osgood, a renowned mathematician and electrical engineer with expertise in signal processing and Fourier analysis. He has been teaching the lectures for over 20 years and is a highly respected authority on the subject.

3. Are the Stanford Lectures on Fourier Transforms suitable for beginners or do they require prior knowledge in mathematics?

The lectures are designed to be accessible for students with a basic understanding of calculus and linear algebra. However, some prior knowledge in complex numbers and differential equations may also be helpful in fully understanding the material.

4. How can I access the Stanford Lectures on Fourier Transforms?

The lectures are available for free on Stanford's website, as well as on various online platforms such as YouTube and iTunes U. They can also be accessed through the university's online course platform, Coursera.

5. Are there any recommended textbooks or additional resources to supplement the Stanford Lectures on Fourier Transforms?

Yes, there are several textbooks that are commonly used in conjunction with the lectures, such as "Introduction to Fourier Analysis on Euclidean Spaces" by Elias Stein and Rami Shakarchi, and "Fourier Analysis" by T.W. Körner. Additionally, Professor Osgood has provided lecture notes and problem sets for each lecture on the Stanford website for further practice and understanding.

Similar threads

Replies
1
Views
2K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
15
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
2
Views
827
  • Engineering and Comp Sci Homework Help
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
7
Views
2K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
24
Views
3K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
10
Views
2K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
6
Views
7K
  • General Math
Replies
1
Views
963
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
6
Views
1K
Back
Top